1/11/2017 4:00:00 PM Spirituality, emotion fuels featured Markay artist
Jackson resident Sherry Betschel poses alongside the namesake piece, “In the Moment,” of her new art exhibit which is now on display in the gallery of the Markay Cultural Arts Center in downtown Jackson. The 30-piece exhibit will continue through Sunday, Jan. 29. (Telegram Photo By Pete Wilson)
Jackson resident and artist Sherry Betschel clearly has a creative bent, but she has been painting for only three years. Yet she has been very productive and the fruits of her recent artistic labors are now on display in an exhibit entitled "In the Moment," which was unveiled Friday evening, Jan. 6, at the Markay Cultural Arts Center in downtown Jackson.
While Betschel has participated in other art shows and sold her paintings in six different states, "In the Moment" represents her first individual exhibit. The 30-painting collection was officially unveiled at an opening-night reception last Friday evening and will remain on display in the Markay Gallery through Sunday, Jan. 29.
Southern Hills Arts Council Board member Bob Eisnaugle, who is a retired high school art instructor, introduced Betschel at the reception and saluted her for the diversity and versatility of her paintings.
"She's not scared," Eisnaugle observed as he looked around at the gallery walls. "She has variety and does a lot of things." Her media types in the Markay exhibit include acrylic, textured acrylic, framed acrylic, charcoal, enamel, paper, gold leaf alcohol ink and certain combinations of these.
She explained that she is an unbiased artist who likes to experiment with different types of mediums and techniques. When viewing her collection, one might be under the impression that her work was created by several different artists because of the great diversity.
Betschel previously commented about her local exhibit:
"This is a diverse collection of artwork based on my awareness with a conscious mind that is tuned into nature, emotion, and spirituality -- reminding us to slow down, take notice and reconnect," she explained. "I don't think art should be purchased to match the colors of a room. I think art should be purchased because you have a connection to the piece or because it sparks some sort of emotion. Nothing is more rewarding to me, as an artist, than for a person to connect to a piece of my artwork on an emotional or spiritual level."
Music is a huge part of Betschel's creative process and she says most of her artwork was created while listening to classical music. Her emotions, feelings and spirituality also fuel her creative juices and she often incorporates Bible verses and poetry into her artwork.
Prior to taking up painting, her artistic and creative talents surfaced in the jewelry she has designed as well as the bridal bouquets and flower arrangements she has crafted.
Her namesake piece in the Markay exhibit, "In the Moment," an alcohol ink abstract piece resembles an elephant's head and is being offered for sale for $200. Betschel has committed that the proceeds from its sale will go toward Project Elephant, which was established to protect and preserve the Asian Elephant in its natural habitats. These elephants are considered to be highly endangered because of poaching and the demand for ivory.
Sherry Compston Betschel lived in both Jackson and Wellston while growing up. She graduated from Jackson High School in 1982 and studied at Rio Grande College. Later, she moved to Columbus where she worked in the accounting department for the Ohio Department of Transportation, choreographed fashion shows and taught modeling classes. She and her husband, James, met in Columbus and moved back to Jackson in 1997 to raise their two sons and be closer to her family members. She has expressed gratitude for all the support and appreciation she has received in pursuing her artistic endeavors.
Gallery hours at the Markay are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free to the gallery exhibits.